Friday, February 6, 2009

Maus and Maus II by Art Spiegelman (17 and 18/81)

Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History and
Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman
Category: Graphic Novels

These two graphic novels chronicle the Holocaust experiences of the author's father, Vladek Spiegelman. The action moves back and forth between the present, with Art and his father talking and bickering, and the story Vladek tells his son about living in Poland during World War 2. The art complements and extends the meaning of the conversations, often playing off stereotypes (for example, the Jewish people are represented as mice, the Polish people as pigs) that bring home the events described all the more powerfully.

Absolutely deserving of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize it received, Maus is not an enjoyable story, but an absolutely necessary one to remember. I highly recommend this sobering, powerful work and would definitely read it again. 5 stars.

Cross-posted at Born Reader.


Cindy B said...

I have to admit I didn't finish Maus. I had trouble following the story and lost interest. Maybe I'll give it another try in a few years, but I'm not really a graphic novel fan.

Mary said...

I've heard others say that the graphic novel format is hard to read/follow. I'm not sure why it isn't for me, maybe I'm just visually oriented or had practice from reading my brother's comic as a kid. I haven't read many graphic novels, I'm hoping this category will give me a broader sense of what's out there.